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Balancing tradition and modernity in narratives surrounding contraception use among poorer women in West Bengal, India.
Unformatted Document Text:  1 “Nowadays who wants many children?” Balancing tradition and modernity in narratives surrounding contraception use among poorer women in West Bengal, India. This paper investigates how poorer women in West Bengal, India balance the ideas of modernization and tradition in their choices to use birth control. Ideologically, Indian women have traditionally been placed within the context of the home and valued principally as wives and mothers. Children, therefore, are tremendously important for women within this framework. In contrast, the ideology of the relatively well structured and very large family planning program asks especially poorer women to have fewer children for the good of the family and the nation. How do poorer, predominantly illiterate women balance these two oppositional ideas in an area that is of such importance in their lives? Qualitative feminist interviewing conducted in government family planning clinics is used to investigate how these women negotiate fertility control decisions with themselves and others, and how they place these decisions in the chronological borderlands between tradition and modernity in a changing world. (150 words)

Authors: Mookerjee, Devalina.
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1
“Nowadays who wants many children?” Balancing tradition and modernity in
narratives surrounding contraception use among poorer women in West Bengal,
India.
This paper investigates how poorer women in West Bengal, India balance the ideas
of modernization and tradition in their choices to use birth control. Ideologically, Indian
women have traditionally been placed within the context of the home and valued
principally as wives and mothers. Children, therefore, are tremendously important for
women within this framework.
In contrast, the ideology of the relatively well structured and very large family
planning program asks especially poorer women to have fewer children for the good of
the family and the nation.
How do poorer, predominantly illiterate women balance these two oppositional
ideas in an area that is of such importance in their lives? Qualitative feminist interviewing
conducted in government family planning clinics is used to investigate how these women
negotiate fertility control decisions with themselves and others, and how they place these
decisions in the chronological borderlands between tradition and modernity in a changing
world. (150 words)


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